A trip to Brazil, enjoying the sights in Rio de Janeiro

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A trip to Brazil, enjoying the sights in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil offers a variety of activities sure to satisfy the desires of any traveler. From beautiful beaches, to natural wonders, and lively cities, Brazil is the perfect destination for a South America vacation. Jennie Duong, one of our very own Latin America For Less Travel Advisors, broadened her South America knowledge by taking a fabulous trip to Brazil last month.

The beautiful Rio skyline at nightfall.

Rio de Janeiro is a lively city, day or night.

Jennie has traveled extensively throughout Latin America from Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Belize, to Guatemala and Argentina. Brazil was an obvious choice for her next Latin America travel adventure. Jennie is a fun and free spirited traveler and Brazil provided her with a great travel tale to share.

Traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Iguazu falls and on to Sao Paulo her trip was full of city tours, beach days, and exploring some of the world’s greatest waterfalls. However the highlights of Jennie’s trip to Brazil were in the city of Rio de Janeiro, here are some trip ideas and advice about what to do and see in this lively city.

Rio de Janeiro held some of the best moments of Jennie’s adventure, from walking along the Copacabana beach to seeing the Christ the Redeemer statue. Rio de Janeiro was the perfect place for her and probably any traveler for that matter.

The Corcovado sits in the center of the city and at its summit is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, which stands at 130 feet tall; it is no wonder this was one of the highlights of Jennie’s trip. Jennie enjoyed getting to see views of the city from above, as well as taking pictures with the impressive statue. She advises that it is typically crowded, as many tours arrive at the summit at the same time. Travelers shouldn’t expect to get pictures without other tourists in the frame, there just isn’t the space. However even with the crowds Jennie says it is well worth the journey. Check out Jennie under the massive Christ the Redeemer statue!

Christ the Redeemer

Jennie with the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

If you want more great views of the city, but with less crowds Jennie suggests taking a tour to Sugar Loaf Mountain.  She explained the in’s and out’s of the tour, “we passed the Sambodrome, went into the Metropolitan Cathedral, and passed through the various districts of Rio de Janeiro. However the highlight was the view from Sugarloaf Mountain, which is incredible. I would highly recommend everyone take this tour.” The Sugar Loaf tour allowed Jennie to get some great panoramic pictures of the city. If you want to get a better view of the Copacabana beach and in general have more time to take pictures she suggests taking the Sugar Loaf tour because it is less crowded and you can spend more time without feeling rushed.

Sugarloaf Mountain views

Jennie took this great picture from the cable car on the way up Sugarloaf Mountain.

Rio de Janeiro is also home to the Copacabana beach, perfect for locals and tourists alike who want to enjoy the fabulous tropical Brazil weather.  Jennie’s favorite day in the city included a stop here, “In the morning we hit Copacabana beach to catch up on our tans and to watch the locals play foot volley; foot volley is basically volleyball but you cannot use your hands.” Take a day to relax at the Copacabana as it is one of Brazil’s best beach scenes and a great way to interact with the locals and indulge in the beach culture. Jennie also advises travelers to beware, swimsuits are different on the beaches of Brazil so don’t be surprised to see women and men in less clothing than your typical beach.

Foot volley at Copacabana

Jennie captured some locals playing foot volley on the Copacabana Beach.

Jennie also has a few more pointers for those planning a trip to Brazil. The first is to learn some Portuguese before going. Learning the local language will enhance your experience by being able to interact with the locals better. Check out some Portuguese phrases for your trip.

Most importantly indulge in the culture and delicious cuisine to really experience Rio de Janeiro. The city boasts some of the best Brazilian cuisine, which Jennie enjoyed; “we went to a local churrasqueria to eat some Brazilian food, the Brazilian way: as much meat as you can eat served to you at your table.”  Here are some more great ideas on where to eat in Rio de Janeiro.

If you are going to spend some time in Rio de Janeiro take some of Jennie’s advice and make the most out of your Brazil vacation.

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is a group of travel-loving experts who live, work, eat, and breathe all things South America. Their inspiration stems from a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity that make this continent so special.

4 Comments

  1. selina cheng on

    Hi have booked singapore sao paolo arriving on the 14th May and would like you to plan visit to brazil, igussu fall, inca civilisation, glazier ,galapagos. plan leaving May 29th but if need be can leave June 5th.Hotel would prefer 5 stars .

  2. Oh wow! Rio de Janeiro is definitely a beautiful place. It has always been my dream to tour this place, definitely one in my travel list. Is it expensive to tour Rio?

  3. Rio is definitely one of the highlights of traveling to Brazil. Although it is becoming more expensive, it’s possible to tour the city on a budget. Make sure you stay clear of the high tourist season and you should be able to find good accommodations for a reasonable price. For example, right before Carnival is a great time as prices are not too high and you are able to enjoy all the preparations of the festivities.